Leonard and Renee Minsky Fund for Arts Education (Penobscot and Washington counties)

Application Deadline: December 15 (the grant program opens in September)

Grant Size: Maximum of $1,000

The fund will award up to six grants at the maximum award level. In 2017, the fund received four requests and made four awards, with an average grant size of $1,000.

Recent Grants from the Leonard and Renee Minsky Fund for Arts Education


Recognizing the important role the arts can play in a school’s curriculum, the donors established this fund to encourage teachers in grades three through five to work with professional artists to bring the arts into the classroom and, in addition, to integrate a variety of art forms into the standard curriculum.

Teachers will work with professional artists from the visual and/or performing arts, including but not limited to film, video, and other media, theater arts, music, dance, and creative writing. Together, the teacher and teaching artists will design a program in which teachers and students will learn through participating in the art form. The artist will also work with the teachers to develop a unit that will incorporate the arts in a meaningful way, helping the school to meet the Maine Learning Results for Visual and/or Performing Arts. 


The Leonard and Renee Minsky Fund for Arts Education supports artists in residence to work with teachers to bring arts into the classrooms of grades three through five in the public schools of Penobscot and Washington counties.

Types of Support

The Minsky Fund challenges classroom teachers to explore innovative approaches to meet the following basic guidelines:

  • The teaching artist(s) work(s) with all the students in the grade(s) participating in the project
  • The teaching artist(s) work(s) with all the participating teachers to explore the integration of the arts into the standard curriculum. If agreed upon by the artist and teachers, other interested faculty may also participate.

Eligible Expenses

At least 75% of the funds awarded should be budgeted to the teaching artist’s fees. The funds should be expended within the current academic year unless an extension is given by the Maine Community Foundation.


All public school teachers for grades three through five in Washington County and Penobscot County are eligible for consideration. Although not required, teachers of the three grades are encouraged to work collaboratively to present one arts education unit, and elementary schools with enrollments of 100 or fewer students are encouraged to present one arts education unit for the school. If there is an arts teacher in a related field on staff, that teacher should participate in the design and implementation of the project. Classroom teachers who have ideas about possible arts education units and need assistance in connecting with appropriate professional artists, please consider talking with the following:

All grant recipients will be required to submit an completion form evaluation report upon completion of the project and no later than the end of the current academic year. The evaluation will describe how students and teachers have learned from the arts education unit, how the arts have been integrated into the curriculum, and how the project has helped the school further the Maine Learning Results for Visual and/or Performing Arts. Future funding may be contingent upon submission of this report.

How to Apply

Complete the Minsky Fund for Arts Education application. Applications must be submitted via email to minsky@mainecf.org.


All decisions will be announced in early January and awards will be mailed in mid-January. Applicants will receive notice of receipt of the application and of the committee's final decision.

If you have questions or would like to discuss an idea before submitting a proposal, please feel free to contact Cherie Galyean via email or by phone at (207) 412-2017.